Advertisement

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Getting over the transition jitters

August 22, 2013|By Joe Puglia

I had been teaching since Christ was a corporal. That’s a long time. In retrospect, one of the most appealing aspects of teaching was mentoring kids according to the parameters of the animated character Buzz Lightyear: “To infinity and beyond!”

At this time of year, students are pretty doggone apprehensive about making the transition to the next level of education. Sixth graders are freaked out about junior high, eighth graders are going nuts about high school, and seniors are stressing over college. Yikes!

I often distributed laminated placards to my students who were moving up to attend a university. It was titled, “Everything I need to know in life I learned in Dr. Joe’s class.” Oh yeah, call me hubris. The placard was filled with quotes and perspectives from writers, philosophers and other notable and not-so-notable individuals.

Advertisement

“How do I get over the heebie-jeebies of transferring?” they’d ask. I would stick my hand into a grab bag of poems, witticisms, quotes, books, movies and thoughts and try to say something prophetic. There’s nothing better than the classics to save a wondering soul.

It’s normal to be nervous about moving on. So if you think there’s a Band-aid solution, there ain’t. What’s more important is dealing with and understanding your fears so when you get to the next level you won’t be looking over your shoulder, waiting for the hammer to fall. It never ceases to amaze me how fear of the unknown inhibits the potential within us.

Why is there so much anxiety relative to graduating and moving on? If you ask me, it boils down to fear. Apprehension causes hesitation and the culprit that leads to paralysis is the fear of failure. Fear is a reality. However fear is created within yourself. Fear evolves from our lack of control over the next step in life. It’s leaving your comfort zone.

Nietzsche tells us, “Success is found in the wilderness whereby we leave our world and venture into the unknown.” There are always dragons that we have to fight along the way. But you have to graduate and leave to do that. How we handle fear is the question. Nothing is impossible to a valiant life, but you have to overcome fear to reach your potential.

La Canada Valley Sun Articles La Canada Valley Sun Articles
|
|
|